Life In a Station

The last few days have been very strange. With the eviction of J111856 the corp has been online here and there, but as a whole we seem somewhat lost. We managed to deny our attackers almost any loot they could have hoped for. We learned they were a mercenary group which were hired to evict us from our system. They weren’t being paid very much, but were promised spoils of war, which we didn’t let them have. It feels good, in kind of a shitty way.

Since the eviction a lot has happened. My Eve time is spotty with a lot of my inspiration for the game deflating after such a cataclysmic defeat. I spend most of my time now mining ice asteroids and running level four missions. It’s a good change for the moment. My personal wallet is pathetically low, and my security status can definitely use a boost. Thankfully some good news starts filtering through the comm channels.

While under siege in J111856, a connection to a class 4 wormhole appeared. Our treasure fleet, a fleet of haulers which housed most of our ships and loot we were able to rescue from our towers before being attacked, was able to escape through that connection. On top of that, our new diplomatic leader, Oz, managed to make contact with the C4’s inhabitants. As talks progressed they agreed to house our fleet for the time being, until we can facilitate the treasure fleet’s return to k-space. Our new allies are apparently very friendly! Talks continued and Oz began helping them run through neighboring C3 anomalies. They trusted him with a few of their ships. Not something I would do personally, but the act of faith was well received.

As it stands now our treasure fleet has safely returned to k-space and the corporation has regrouped in the Mikhir system while we ponder what to do next. It sounds as if the C4 allies may help us find a new C3 home system and continue working with us in the future. They sound like a great group of pilots and I’m looking forward to getting to know them all, and hopefully meeting a few pilots from my timezone! From the sound of it, we might need to re-name our corp to something with a phoenix in it, considering our re-birth in the face of such destruction!

The Fall of J111856

I had just rolled into work. It was about 9:45 am my timezone and I had just started getting through my emails which is a morning ritual in the office. Suddenly my phone starts buzzing. Looks like the corp is just getting into Eve while I settle in at work. I usually get these texts at work, updates on the HQ system and loses of ships. Today was a bit more dramatic.

An enemy fleet had warped into the HQ. A big enemy fleet. I wasn’t there, I don’t know the exact numbers, but I know it was big and I know it was powerful. They had our static bubbled in minutes. The first customs office fell in only half an hour. It took Oz and crew eight hours to bust the first one when we got here. From what I can tell, we know two things:

1. We are greatly outmatched by this new enemy; and
2. We are utterly fucked.


I get out of work and logged into the game because I had to see it for myself. I knew the fleet had chain collapsed wormholes, and my arbitrator doesn’t have a probe launcher. I’m not going to find a way out of our HQ today, but I had to know it was real. I had to see it with my own eyes. Reinforced bars ticked down all around the system. Enemy ships and a tower were on d-scan. In OUR system! It was sad. It was also impressive. This is what Eve corporations are capable of. I feel like a cub scout in their presence.

It’s sad to have to pull out of J111856 after such a long stint in w-space, but there is always tomorrow. The corp is demoralized, but not spiritless. Already rumors are spreading about incursions and factional warfare. I don’t know where the following days will take us, but I know that this is merely a bump in the road. Maybe someday we’ll get J11856 back, but until then it looks like this goodbye.

Farewell J111856.

Worst Static Ever

I get home from work and immediately log into Eve, even though I had told myself I would at least start my laundry first. OK, maybe I’ll start it after I finish scanned the HQ. Scanning reveals a new signature from the bookmarks. Which is great, because looking at my map, our current static is in one lo-sec system in Gallente space which borders lo-sec and null-sec. Two places I never want to spend too much time. On top of that I’m pretty sure that lo-sec system is going to be patrolled and heavily.

Either way I scan down the new signature hoping for another wormhole connection but just getting a mag site. Oh well, I through my laundry in the washer and jump into an Arbitrator. Maybe I can find some trouble. I jump through our static to the lo-sec system and buzz around for a while scanning. Nothing in system ye…

Oh, a Megathron, that’s cool. A bit out of my class thou…

Oh a Hurricane, hmm maybe if I was super lucky and cou…

Oh a Cerberus, hmm probably couldn’t break hi…

Ok that’s it I’m not hunting here. I bring up my map again while my ship floats in a safe spot. Nine jumps through stupid Gallente controlled space. Nothing about that seems pleasing, even if it does get me to FW space on the other side. This night is starting to smell bunk already. That’s not the only thing I smell. A guest of my roommate is also trying to use the oven and now our apartment smells of leaking explosive gas. I should probably go take care of that. Oh well, less than two weeks to go on large energy turret V. That is exciting if nothing else appears to be this evening!

Quite a Weekend

Man o’ man have I been busy! No posts in four days is down right blasphemous. I apologize for having such an exciting life outside of the game. I will work harder in the future to prevent that from happening.

Anyway sorry for being MIA for a while. I had a big housewarming party this weekend for having moved into my new apartment here in Brooklyn. In reality I moved in about two months ago, but only just got around to fully unpacking. Not quite as easy as dragging and dropping something from my cargo hold in real life unfortunately. Regardless it’s done now thank goodness. The party, a trip to New Jersey to play some board games with my good friends, and waking up at 5:00 am on a subway bench on Saturday morning meant little time for playing. Luckily I was able to duck out of work a little early today and grab some much needed Eve time.

My PI was in ruins. I hadn’t replenished the necessary processors in almost a week’s time. The lack of finished rocket fuel and enriched uranium was embarrassing. Luckily with only one signature in system, and that signature being our static connection to lo-sec, I feel very safe jumping into a hauler and getting is sorted out.

With that done, it’s time for hunting. The Pilgrim looks awkward to me, having spent so much time recently in the Oracles, but I settle back into the old routines quickly. I make my way from system to system. There is little to find. I’m in the cursed Molden Heath region. One giant ring of lo-sec systems that never seem to get very interesting for me. A few assault ships and destroyers appear on my scanner every now and again, but everyone is zipping around too quickly for me to catch. I finally think I have a Rupture in complex I can take a shot at, but it turns out my fat ole bird won’t fit through the acceleration gate.

With nothing going on in our static region tonight it’s an early night. But that’s OK as I want to devote some time to a new project of mine. I’ve been in the conceptual phases of designing a board game for about 4 months now. Hopefully tonight I can really start putting some work into it so I can mock up a board and everything else in the near future. I might keep a journal of how that goes, the whole process. I’m not sure yet. For obvious reasons I would like to keep it separated from this one, but who knows. Either way it’s time to shut the computer down and get something done!

Looking at a Manticore Through the Scope

I logged into Eve to find the corp comms channel empty. Our bookmarks and message of the day didn’t offer much excitement either. Two grav sites, our static to lo-sec, and a lot of empty space. Well at least I can get my PI responsibilities taken care of without worrying about someone killing me. I notice the scanning report is dated a good five hours ago so I decide to jump into my Anathema before running planetary supplies around to make sure nothing new has popped up.

My scanning reveals two additional wormholes in our HQ system. The first leads to a C4, the second a C5 Magnetar. I scout each system, gathering intel on towers and ships I see around the system. The C4 only has a few signatures in it and one anomaly, so I decide to scan the system down for future use since it appears HQ is this systems static connection for now. I find two grav sites and three wormholes. Geez, no end to the exploration tonight I guess. One wormhole here is going to collapse soon, so I ignore it and explore the neighboring C2 and C4b. I’ve been scanning for almost an hour and a half at this point and I just don’t have the strength left in me to continue. I decide to head back to HQ and move my PI around since neither of the nearby systems seem to be active to any degree.

When I arrive back in the HQ system though I’m greeting with a fleet of scanning probes on my d-scanner. I’m pretty confident I didn’t leave them out, but you never know. No I’m positive, all probes accounted for on my ship and I’m pretty sure I would have noticed a ship moving through the C4. That leads me to believe that this is a visitor from the C5. I move off the wormhole and cloak while spamming the scan button. I’d like to find out what ship I’m dealing with before I decide to log for the night or provoke a fight. The probes mean he probably isn’t monitoring d-scan too closely and my Anathema is likely to be undetected so far.

Finally a Manticore appears on scanner as the probes disappear. It’s about what I’m expecting. A cloaking scout from the C5 (now confirmed because of the prefix in front of his ship’s name which matches the towers in the C5). I warp back to our tower and decide I will try the sniping Oracle fit. I built this ship to take out pesky scout ships on wormholes, this is a great chance to see if it works. His probes are out again and I’m hoping he hasn’t noticed my switch of ships while I rocket towards the C5 connection. I know I’ll never catch him before he goes through the wormhole on our side, so I jump through to the C5 and position myself 70km from the wormhole.

I’ve done a quick recon of the C5 again to make sure no additional pilots or ships have logged on. This is no guarantee mind you, but it gives me enough confidence to at least put the blockade up and give it a shot. My biggest fear at this point is having the Manticore come through the wormhole, see me 70km off the signature, and calling in backup before shedding his session cloak. I don’t think he has any friends online, and he can’t hold his session timer long enough to get an alt on and to my position. Either way I’m aligned to a celestial and ready to warp out of here in a second if things start to smell fishy.

I am nervous. This is a pretty expensive ship to be chasing scouts with, but I want to see how the fit preforms and send a message to our nosy neighbors that we’re not to be taken lightly. The waiting continues and my nerves are starting to fray. My eyes are glued to the directional scanner which fails to report anything new during the five minute long blockade. I’m on the verge of giving up and getting my ship back to the safety of the tower when the wormhole flares signalling the return of the Manticore. I hope.

My sensor boosters have been on the whole time. I charge up my beam lasers and hover my mouse over my overview, waiting for the session cloak to drop so I can pounce on my prey. The directional scanner is still clean, everything is perfect. I couldn’t ask for a better ambush. The session cloak drops and the Manticore immediately begins aligning towards one of his towers. My poor mouse button gets a beating as I spam click the Manticore’s overview icon trying to get a lock, but something’s wrong! The lock won’t hold! I’m not getting dampened or jammed. What is going on?! After about five or six seconds, the Manticore warps away unscathed, much to my disappointment. He had landed very close to the signature of the wormhole preventing him from cloaking as soon as he moved. Everything had gone exactly as I wanted to, but my ship just seemed to forget it’s targeting range!

I warp to my aligned celestial and immediately back to the wormhole at 0km. This is where I’m the most vulnerable. The Oracle has no tank and the time spent near wormholes or stargates are when trouble is a real possibility. I make it back through the wormhole and to my tower without any trouble. But what the heck happened? I check to log and see that it was telling me I wasn’t within targeting range. I can normally lock out to 99km and I was sure the Manticore was only 71km away! I had even checked the Magnetar adjustments before putting the ambush in place. I should have a 0.66 bonus to my…

Oh. That’s not a bonus at all. In fact that math explains exactly why I couldn’t lock the Manticore. I had misread the data table, expecting to see a minus sign in front of anything that would reduce my targeting range. Instead the “bonus” as published by ccp is actually more of a modifier. You’re targeting range is now only 66% of what it normally is. You are not receiving a 66% bonus to your range. That sucks. What an annoying reason for losing a kill. I grumble to myself for being so illiterate, and log off for the night. Hopefully all my scanning will pay off in the long run and someone in the corp will be able to get something productive done. Bob* knows I didn’t.

*For those of you that don’t know, Bob is the god of wormholes. At least that’s what our corp believes. All we do is in Bob’s glory. Actually we have a crazy story about setting up a POS where Bob’s intervention was the only explanation for the tower not being destroyed, but that’s a story for another time.

Fitting Theory – Oracle Sniper Fit

Welcome to another installation of Vult’s Fitting Theory posts! Today we’re going to talk about a pretty straight forward fit for the Amarr T3 battlecruiser, the Oracle. I’ve only recently started flying these, but I’m already in love with the ship. It is one of my favorite hull designs and it can be a lethal ship in a brawl as well. Two things I look for in every ship I fly, because lets face it, Amarr fly in style. Gold is definitely my color.

Anyway when I first browsed through the Oracle’s bonuses I immediately recognized this ship as a sniper. Surprisingly I found many of the fits on Battleclinic with pulse laser “brawler” fits. I was taken aback! The ship description seems so well suited to sniping I just didn’t expect to see so many closer range fits. I find that I base most if not all of my fits around a ship’s bonuses. It makes sense, fit the ship in a way that maximizes it’s performance. The game designers don’t assign bonuses lightly, they are very carefully considered and weighed. The thing that stood out most in my mind when I looked at the Oracle (as with any T3 battlecruisers) is that it is a glass cannon. There is no way around it. The ship is just too flimsy to be an up close broadside ship. What’s one to do? Engage at range.

Before we look at the fit let’s talk briefly about how we’re planning on using this ship and what we’re looking to engage with it. Living in wormhole space, you will find yourself in a hole blockade position very frequently. Sitting on a wormhole waiting for something hostile to either jump through or return to the hole to escape your system is a daily occurrence. Interceptors are a good choice for catching covert ops cloak ships jumping between wormholes. Unfortunately they can be a little flimsy if say a cloaked Tengu comes through the hole instead.

The sniping Oracle gives you some safety while monitoring a wormhole. Waiting 100km+ off of the hole allows you to see what you’re about to engage before you have to commit. This fit will allow you to lock frigates in a few seconds. This won’t be enough to catch vigilant covert ops pilots, but you’d be surprised how often those wormhole signatures are close enough to a ship to keep it from cloaking for a few seconds. That’s all this ship needs. Dishing out a few thousand damage per volley doesn’t hurt either. What we’re looking for here is a ship that put damage on any ship it chooses down range. For our needs especially I was focusing on catching smaller support craft like tackling frigates and covert ops boats.

The other useful thing about this ship is it’s aggressive scouting ability. Consider a roam group moving through lo-sec systems. You can warp to 100km on a belt, and practically insta-pop frigates ratting. The fit is a game changer. You can engage targets well out of their own range. The ship is also surprisingly agile, and can align and warp as fast or faster than some cruisers. I’ve been very impressed with it so far. It doesn’t quite have the speed to be a kite ship for something like a Curse, but many ships will succumb to your beam lasers before they realize what they’re up against. The real dangerous part of flying this ship is your lack of any kind of tank. Your control of range will nullify this in most cases, but unfortunately going through gates and holes will put you right were a waiting enemy wants you. I would strongly suggest flying this ship with a frigate scout to make sure gates are clear before jumping through.

Oracle Sniper Fit:

8x Tachyon Modulated Energy Beam I (Imperial Navy Radio L)*
 *NOTE: Currently Vult does not have the skills for T2 large energy turrets, thus the T1 beams
2x Sensor Booster I
10MN MicroWarpdrive II
3x Heat Sink II
3x Tracking Enhancer II
Medium Energy Collision Accelerator I
Medium Targeting System Subcontroller I
Medium Ionic Field Projector I
I’m sad to say I’ve only been able to test this fit on rats so far, and one Curse who I kited for a minute or so just to harass him before running back to the safety of our tower. A few of these in a roam fleet will pay huge dividends if paired with interceptors though I have no doubt.

Vultirnus’ Wall of Violence

The day has finally come! I’ve decided to setup a personal killboard. Documenting your sorties is something I’ve learned to do from playing flight simulators years ago. Keeping track of your engagements, mistakes, conquests and other details can shed a surprising amount of information on your playing. Reviewing past missions and fights can really help point out flaws and deficiencies in your piloting or fits. This is one of the reasons I decided to start this blog in the first place, the killboard just seemed like a logical next step. I can assure everyone that I am certainly not doing this for the bragging rights.

So without further hesitation, the almighty link:

Feel free to post comments, feedback, scathing troll comments and whatever else you want to! I apologize ahead of time if people have trouble viewing parts of the board. I’m still new to the settings so it may take a little time getting things to flow smoothly. I’m hoping to start include links of kills into my regular posts as well. If anyone has trouble with the board or links, please comment here so I can try to fix it. Enjoy!

Also big plug for Griefwatch and their awesome killboards. I certainly am not wizardish enough with this stuff to have figured out how to create my own!

The Hunters Become the Hunted

I log in Saturday morning to find most of the corp already in-game. Not much is going on, we have our static wormhole connection to lo-sec and that’s about it. No anomalies, no other signatures, in short nothing to do. I get my planetary obligations sorted out and deliver a new order of rocket fuel to the ever eager missile production team. It’s nice to feel wanted.

Our connection is close to hi-sec, right on the border actually, so Oz and I take the opportunity to go shopping. Our wallet is flush with cash from his subsystem production and I’m more than happy to help him spend it. We had been talking earlier about the recent engagements we’ve had in the HQ system. After browsing through our hangars we realize we have a very specialized fleet. Almost no T1 ships to speak of, and the T2’s we do have are very specialized and honestly not particularly useful in many fights. We need to solidify a good fighting base of ships to keep in the HQ for system defense.

I write up a corpwide email detailing our new goal. Every pilot should have two combat ready battleships and two combat ready battlecruisers focusing on damage output. It won’t guarantee that we can fight off every hostile force that comes our way, but it certainly will be more effective than just bombing the wrecks in our own system’s anomalies.

Between one of our runs to Amarr we notice a hostile pilot in our HQ system’s local communication channel. Apparently he had warped to the tower and managed to not get decloaked in our warp bubble and can traps. We quickly scan down the new wormhole that connects us to a class 2 wormhole system and setup a blockade. We park an interceptor on either side of the wormhole and I position my new sniper Oracle 95km off of our side of the hole. With my sensor boosters and tracking enhancers I can lock frigates in less than three seconds and pop them in one or two volleys. The waiting begins.

The waiting lasts for a long time, and we never actually see our intruder again. Eventually we collapse the C2 connection trapping the scout in our system. We see him later on in the static system, where he threatens to bring out his pvp ship. Interesting how he has a pvp ship in this system he didn’t have a connection to until we locked him out of his own wormhole.

Now that the intruders are dealt with and our new purchases are fitted out and sitting in our hangars, it’s time to hunt! Oz, Snow, and myself fit out some T1 cruisers and get ready to roam. I’m piloting a speed tanked Arbitrator, Oz is in a brawler of a Maller, and Snow rolls out in a Retribution. Unfortunately we find a few ships in safespots in our static system, so we ask Snow to head back to HQ and get a scanning boat instead. It’s incredible how often you find ships in safespots in lo-sec systems, especially in FW systems. Having that scanning boat leads to a lot of kills and I’m grateful she was willing to forgo a combat ship to help the team out.

We find an Imicus afk in a safespot, and as par for the course, I blow that shit up. We cruise around for a while longer looking for someone to shoot but don’t manage to find much. Until a Jaguar lands on Oz’s Maller at one of the gates. He warps through and Oz gives chase as the rest of us enter warp to catch up. After a short game of cat and mouse Oz manages to lock him down at the sun of the system we’re currently in. I enter warp to join the fray. The Maller is having a hard time breaking through the Jaguar’s shield tank. Luckily my Arbitrator is fit with some serious energy neutralizing power. After one cycle of the neuts, the Jaguar starts breaking down. Another Jaguar enters the fight but is surprisingly ineffective at, well everything. He start shooting my drones, which is annoying but doesn’t accomplish much. I have plenty more. The first Jaguar finally explodes and our attention shifts to the second one.

The second Jaguar begins rocketing away from us. Neither Oz nor myself can keep up with him, our caps are both empty. Not only that, but they aren’t regenerating very fast at all. Neither of us see any neutralizers or vamps on us, but our cap is still not regenerating. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m not a fan. The Jaguar is out of disruptor range, but he’s still not warping out.

Well shit, that means this is going to be a trap…

Sure enough I click the d-scanner and see a whole fleet of ships start to appear in system. We need to get out of here and now. I align to a FW complex (probably not the best idea, but I was panicking). A Talos leads a small fleet of ships into our area. I don’t remember what they all were, but it was a lot more than we were going to be able to handle. Oz’s ship is aligned and just about to enter the warp bubble when his warp engine gets disrupted. I warp out, Oz is a lost cause at this point. I’ll never be able to save him. Oddly the enemy fleet is able to catch his pod as well. A near impossible feat without specialized modules. We’re surprised and saddened when his pod explodes ejecting his corpse into space.

Still in the grand scheme of things we managed a 53 million isk kill and lost a Maller that topped off around 40 million I think. So not too bad, although losing all of Oz’s implants definitely swings the scale back to the negatives. It was still a fun roam and we’re getting better at the fleet combat every time we go out. I’m excited to see us improve even further.

Another interesting point I wanted to make involves the Pilgrim speed fit I had come up with a few weeks ago. Oz had actually built one and tested it out before all of this went down (during my first trade run). He topped out at about five kills if I remember correctly, before he accidentally got caught on an acceleration gate and subsequently destroyed. But the reports coming back from him are promising. He was able to chase down assault ships that tried to run from him, and the flexibility of being able to engage and disengage at will is incredibly valuable. My Arbitrator fit mimics the Pilgrim fit, but with only four mid-slots, it has a hard time being as effective. Still I think a switch over to the new Pilgrim fit is in order for tomorrow!

To The Victor Go The Spoils

For those of you who don’t know, operating in wormhole space can be a stressful and hectic experience. With the spawn of every new connection comes a change in the rules. Nothing stays the same for very long and that is what leads to a lot of the excitement. Even if sometimes that excitement comes at the cost of your profitability, planning, and health.

Summer Friday had me out of work early today and I got home as quickly as I could to log in some Eve time. Just before getting home my phone had lit up with messages from the corp saying there was trouble brewing in the HQ system. Am I the only wormhole pilot that isn’t in a European timezone? I swear I am always missing the action. Anyway there is a K162 connection in our HQ which has lead to some class four inhabitants. Apparently a few of them are parked in our system in battleships and other nasty things. Our forces are apparently in stealth bombers monitoring the situation. I log into the comms channel in time to catch Oz formulating a plan of attack. It sounded something like this:

Oz: “You guys warp in and get into bomb range, while I fly around over here and kite the Dramiel.”
Me: “You’re going to kite a Dramiel?”
Oz: “To keep him off the bombers while they make their runs.”
Me: “You’re going to kite the fastest frigate in the game?”
Oz: “Yes?”

Good luck with that. I’m going to work on my target practice. The enemy ships were clustered in one of two bookmarks, which Snow had already scanned down. Oz and I took potshots at ships when the opportunity presented itself. We even managed to take down a Kestrel at some point. Unfortunately they managed to catch Oz during one attack leaving the score 1 T1 frigate to 1 T2 stealth bomber. Oh well, this has been fun either way, and in all honesty I’m glad for the chance to practice bombing on real targets for a change.

The enemy fleet begins running the three anomalies we have in our system. They have an overwhelming force present. A pair of Ravens, cloak fitted Loki, Dramiel, a few Drakes, Hurricane, and Onyx make up the fleet that we know about. Anything else can still be on their side of the wormhole. There is no way we can force them out of our system in a direct engagement. But we can make their trip as frustrating as possible and deny them as much isk as we can.

We deploy Snow into the anomaly they are currently working on and have her bookmark wrecks from the sleeper ships as they come up. Oz and I then position ourselves around the enemy fleet for what I am calling “surgical bomb strikes of annoyance.” When the intruders get a couple of wrecks up Oz or myself decloak and attack the wrecks denying them the loot. Sometimes we used torpedoes, sometimes bombs. We attacked their drones when they would cluster them around a single target. Basically we did whatever we could in our outclassed ships to harass and demoralize the enemy. It worked well.

In the first anomaly they only made off with the loot from a single cruiser wreck. The second anomaly they fared slightly better with two or three ships worth of loot and maybe one or two salvages.  We couldn’t keep them from stealing all our anomalies, but by god we were going to make them fight for every damn isk they tried to take. I would say the mission to make them wish they had never bothered with our system was paying off, right up until we got the idea to try to collapse the wormhole on them.

Now I’m not sure when that idea came about, I was busy bombing wrecks and drones. I think it was a bad call to be honest. They were about done with our anomalies and I don’t think they would have caused too much trouble after they got what they had come for. Regardless, a wormhole collapsing fit Abaddon was eventually caught on the wormhole and destroyed. We tried what we could to draw their attention away from Snow’s cloaked ship, but with that number of hostile ships buzzing around the wormhole it was only a matter of time before they found her.

The engagement ended and I logged off to grab some dinner. Hopefully I can wash the taste of defeat out of my mouth with a few slices of Sicilian pizza and Pepsi.

Scary Hallway and a Near Miss

It’s been a few days since the last time I logged into Eve and I’m anxious to get the ball rolling. A loading screen greets me at the login. What the feck? Oh, I’m in a station. I chuckle to myself realizing I haven’t logged off in a station in a very long time. I didn’t even recognize the captains quarters settings or my own avatar! Where the hell am I?

It slowly starts coming back to me. I had left the wormhole to fly out to the New Caldari area. I have a friend who is just getting into the game and wanted to give him a hand with some of the basics and help him get through a few missions. My Punisher floated in front of me comfortably docked in the Caldari station. My friend isn’t online, so I might as well get back to the wormhole. I undock, set my destination to our static bookmark and warp to the first gate. It will be about 18 jumps with a few lo-sec systems along the way but nothing a frigate shouldn’t be able to get through.

Or not…

I want to describe what happened here in terms that a non-eve player would understand because I think it will be fun. Image yourself in a room with a few doors in it. Each door leads to a long hallway with another door at the end of it. In order to enter the hallway you need to shut the door behind you. You have no way of knowing what is in the next room, you must commit to walking down the hallway and opening that door in order to find out. Simple right? Ok now imagine that when you open the door at the far end of the hallway you are greeted with the following image.

The room is full of corpses. They’re in the corners, splattered on the walls, suspended from the ceilings. Death is everywhere. There are two enormous guys in the middle of the room holding nets and the biggest guns you’ve ever seen. They only reason you’re not dead already is because you’re invisible when you first step through the door to this room. They know you’re there. They saw the door open, they just can’t see you yet. What do you do? You try to run. Run as fast as you can. But it doesn’t matter because their net is already thrown and now you can’t go anywhere. All you can do is curse their names as the barrel of their weapon is leveled at your forehead.

I ran into a gate camp. Two Loki’s were sitting inside one of the first lo-sec systems on my way back to the wormhole. I assumed the frigate would be able to align and warp before they could lock me up, but I was wrong. My Punisher popped, and it popped fast. I did manage to save the pod though which is what I was really worried about losing. Those implants are not cheap! The loss of the ship is annoying but nothing to cry too much over. T1 frigates are made to be lost. The rest of the trip goes off without any trouble but the HQ system seems quiet. I try to pick a fight in our static chain but to no avail. I log off and get some sleep and hope for more excitement later.

It’s two days after my gate camp run in and I’m back online to hunt. My Pilgrim ignites it’s warp engines and burns through our static connection to a small chain of about seven lo-sec systems in Amarr space. Oddly our connection is in a dead end system in the chain which is convenient since people don’t expect combat ships to just appear at the dead end of their territory. I browse through the chain, things seem very quiet. Not many pilots, and those I do find are more often than not floating in a tower’s bubble. A Legion appearing on my directional scanner keeps me on my toes but I decide to just keep moving for now anyway.

Eventually I head back to my static system to get some ratting done. My security status is still in rough shape and could definitely use a boost. I come out of warp to find a Prorator sitting uncloaked on the gate. This is a dead end system, I wonder if someone used their autopilot to get here and are not paying attention to what is happening in game. Why is it I can only find afk pilots to fight? I shed my session cloak and begin moving toward the ship while activating my own cloaking device. Suddenly another ship appears on the overview for a split second as it activates the stargate and leaves the system.

That is strange. Now I’m on edge, who was that? Why were they waiting cloaked on a stargate? Something smells fishy. I’m getting the idea that this industrial ship is bait for a hostile fleet. But blockade runners aren’t generally used for nothing. It is very possible there is some valuable loot in there and I know it’s armor won’t last long against my drones. The gate guns will be a problem though. If I start hostilities the guns will begin firing on me. This is low security space, not no-security space unfortunately. I decide to make a go for it, but I make sure that my ship is aligned to a celestial before I start attacking.

I’m within scramble range and aligned to the sun. I decloak and start up the jammer and afterburner and empty my drone bay. The ship is locked down and the Infiltrator II’s are making a joke out of the ship’s armor, but the enemy ship has locked me back and that is making me nervous that a warp disruption module is about to be trained onto my ship. I think the lock was an auto lock since no jammer appeared, and that is a relief, but just then the stargate flashes and in the same instance the Prorator’s pilot goes red to me. That’s all the cues I need and I punch the warp button. I’m not exactly sure what happened. I don’t know why the blockade runner would have gone read unless it was attacking me with something, but I wasn’t scrambled. What the heck is going on?

Either way I’ve lost five medium combat drones but I didn’t get killed. I think I’ll take that. My prey throws up some words in the local comms channel, but it smells like a ploy to get me to try attacking again even though she is no longer on my d-scanner. I don’t know what is going on but I’m done with it for now. I pick up another fleet of medium drones from a local station and then head back to the HQ. My friend is logging on and I need to get into a new Punisher and give him a hand. It may not have been a particularly profitable day, but at least it was exciting!